It has long been an urban legend that if (when) marijuana becomes federally legal in the United States, that Big Tobacco turning to pot sales is all but certain. Don’t be so sure.
High Times journalist Russ Belville recently released an article proclaiming we put an end to the parade…or should I say charade by cannabis fear mongers.
While some of Belville’s points are based on assumptions and rhetorical questions, the fact remains that Big Tobacco turning to pot as a brand new revenue stream (that ultimately acts negatively on its consumers) is just not going to happen. Ever.
Not Your Parent’s Weed, So Don’t Believe Your Parent’s Legend
As stated in Beville’s article, the urban legend of Big Tobacco turning to pot sales ‘dates back to the 1970s’. With over 40 years of continued momentum behind the legend, many people believe it an inevitability if marijuana ever becomes federally legal.
So much so, in fact, that Project SAM, an organization in favor of a ‘smart approach to marijuana’ has the possibility of Big tobacco turning to pot as their first issue to resolve on their website.
The initiative is labelled “Big Tobacco 2.0” and mentions the emergence of special interest groups such as Big Tobacco companies coming to where marijuana is legal in Colorado and elsewhere in the U.S. to get their grubby hands on the profits.
Coming from a Colorado resident I can say with 100% confidence this is utterly false. The presence of one equity interested firm (cited by Project SAM) does not Big Marijuana make.
There is one assumption Beville makes that may turn out to be true if marijuana ever does become federally legal.
“The ultimate answer to the “Big Marijuana” scare is that it’s hard to manufacture demand for a shitty product,” Beville said.
Never, under any circumstance, underestimate the propensity of (especially American) peoples to accept ‘a shitty product’. If this assumption were true, Bud Light would have gone by the wayside as soon as the craft beer boom swept the nation.
Beville alludes to the marijuana product of Big Tobacco’s future as ‘the “Bud Light” of weed’. Of course, Bud Light still exists because it is produced by a VERY large company in the industry. The same would be true for the marijuana products put out by Big Tobacco in the event of federal marijuana legalization.
While only human, Russ Beville is barking up the right…tree when it comes to putting an end to a silly urban legend. Now here’s to hoping I didn’t just jinx it and the urban legend comes true in the future. The less we believe the legend in the first place, however, the less likely it rings true.